CHIPPING Sodbury moved out of the bottom two with their third successive victory in the West of England Premier League’s Gloucestershire division, trumping high-flying Stroud by 85 runs.

Another terrific all-round display in difficult conditions gave Sodbury the edge after they won the toss and elected to bat in a 44-overs per side contest.

Opener Jake Reed (32) and former skipper Craig Scully continued their fine form by dominating a challenge of 163-8.

And Sodbury then turned the screw in the field to wrap up an excellent win. Ben Waldron set the tone with another testing spell, finishing with 3-26 from nine, receiving good support from fellow seamer Mason Poole (1-23).

Their efforts paved the way for spinners Phil Lill (4-22 from seven) and skipper Jamie Rendell (2-7 from 2.4) to complete the job in style.

Sodbury took this momentum into a home Gloucestershire Cup semi-final the next day, and came within 18 runs of a shock victory over holders Downend.

The WEPL Premier One highflyers were reduced to 56-4 before Matt Jackson (79) and Joe Dryell (63) pulled their side out of trouble.

Both fell to Jarrod Campling (4-24) with Poole (4-51) and Waldron (2-36) also shining as Downend rallied to be all out for 260.

Sodbury’s reply then got off to the worst possible start at 1-2 but Lill (95), Scully (61 not) and Poole (24 not) led a fantastic recovery which brought Sodbury tantalisingly close to the spoils.

Sodbury seconds, meanwhile, went down by 71 runs at Poulton in the Gloucestershire County League, while there were also defeats for the thirds and fourths in the Bristol and District League, against Brislington thirds and Midsomer Norton Methodists respectively.

* CHIPPING Sodbury’s club flag flew at half mast over the weekend following the deaths of former members Graham Wiltshire and David Cowles.

‘Wilt’, who was born in the town and graduated from the Ridings to make 19 appearances for Gloucestershire in the 1950s before serving as county coach for more than 25 years, passed away at the age of 86.

‘Wilt’ first came to the attention of Gloucestershire as a teenager, playing against the county for Sodbury in a Tom Goddard benefit match.

He first claimed the wicket of former Test opener Charlie Barnett before going on to also dismiss Tom Graveney and Arthur Milton, who both went on to play for their country.

In this pre-internet era, Wilt’s performance led the Gloucestershire secretary to later write to Sodbury requesting that this “unknown warrior” report to the County Ground for nets and a trial.

Sodbury are also mourning the death of 56-year-old David Cowles, the son of former chairman Jim Cowles.

David, who was a member of Sodbury’s first-ever youth side in 1976.